GCE Strategic Consulting

Blog - GCE Consultant's Insight

The blog that shares our expertise and perspective for driving business transformation, based on the successes and failures we've seen everywhere from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.

Sales Incentive Chaos

When a sales incentive program does not achieve the desired results, many sales managers blame the program itself. There are many reasons why a sales incentive program fails to provide adequate results. Sometimes it has little to do with the program itself. Like all people, sellers like things that are clear and easy to do. When people are forced to sort options, categories, and formulas, they tend to feel frustrated.

The bottom line is that sales incentive plans, when done right, can achieve the results you expect. From the regular compensation structure to the selection of targeted programs, sales compensation, and sales incentive plans are a great way to motivate your employees and increase sales.

Often, sales incentives for many sales teams are linked to new customer acquisition. Incentive formulas are natural to align with the company goals and to keep them immediate. If your sales force is implementing the behaviors that you want to see, the reward should come quickly.

Incentives should go further and motivate sales teams to receive more rewards. This will eventually put your business in a better position to exceed sales and business goals. A balance of commissions and incentives leads to higher profit margins, a more motivated sales team, and a more effective sales process.

Of course, one of the critical features of a sales incentive plan is that your employees do more of what you want. Your sales incentive plan should reward the activity that salespeople should include in their sales cycle. If you're going to increase new business, you're putting a new customer acquisition more heavily on commissions than your existing business.

A good incentive plan motivates average and below-average performers to leave their comfort zones. If your incentive plans consistently reward the same top sellers, other employees may lose interest. For example, to engage every salesperson, you should provide incentives for compliance.

Offering an experimental sales incentive is a great way to ensure that your employees have compelling memories of winning a sales competition. The sales incentive plan is crucial to achieving the desired results, but also your contribution. By creating the right culture, promoting employee engagement, and building trust, you have created a solid foundation for the success of your sales incentive plan. Combine these efforts with careful planning, collaboration, and budgeting, and you could have a successful sales program that relieves the burden on the team and dramatically reduces the weight off your shoulders.

Leading companies are working to solve this problem by finding ways to make online or mobile sales a benefit to sellers or distributors rather than a threat. One approach is to reward salespeople or distributors for their involvement in online sales and to give them credit for doing what digital tools can not do: being consultative and persuasive in the early stages of the buying process.

Sales leaders are always looking for sophisticated ways to motivate their teams. If sales targets are missed, they blame the sales compensation plan and start at point one. You want your compensation plan, including your sales incentives, aligned with your business goals.

The goal will be to shift the focus of revenue incentives to rewarding the underlying behavior that leads to more revenue. Behaviors are easier to track individually, and the ROI calculated more quickly. So, consider rewarding your resellers and distributors for performing the behaviors that lead to success, and will still be successful in 10 years, regardless of specific sales incentives.

If you would like to learn more about how to implement a successful sales incentive plan for your team or other strategies to turn your sales team from mediocre to meteoric, check out our Patented Sales Operating System here.

Ken Paskins